16 Day Te Wai Pounamu
16 Day Te Wai Pounamu
Te Wai Pounamou is the Maori name for New Zealand's South Island. Our unique 16 day self-drive itinerary encircles the entire South Island ensuring you don't miss a thing!
Book your self drive tour this month and receive an Earlybird Discount of 10%. Make full payment by 31 July 2018 to qualify or receive a discount of 7.5% if you pay by 30 September 2018.
|Tour Type:||Self Drive Tours|
|From:||Wellington to Christchurch|
|Departures:||May 2018 to March 2019|
From (NZD) $5312 per person
|Tour Operator:||Relaxing Journeys|
|15 nights accommodation|
|Rental vehicle of your choice|
|2 night stopovers in the Marlborough Sounds, Nelson, Abel Tasman Park & Franz Josef|
|3 night stopover in majestic Queenstown|
|Return water taxis to Marlborough Sounds and Abel Tasman Naional Park accommodation|
|Doubtful Sound Wilderness Excursion|
|See icebergs & glaciers up close on your Tasman Glacier Explorer excursion|
|Scenic Interislander Ferry Cruise|
|Admissions outlined in the Itinerary|
|Airport transfers to/from your accommodation|
|Travel wallet, comprehensive customised itinerary, bound map book, accommodation & activity vouchers and local travel guides|
Click on the prices below to enquire.
* Prices shown are per person (based on two people travelling).
* 2 Bedroom Motel pricing also available with Exclusive Specials. Please request a quote for prices.
Day by Day Tour Itinerary
“Haere Mai” Welcome to Wellington. Nestled in green hills and within a protective harbour, the capital city of Wellington has a laid back vibe yet offers some of the best shopping, arts and nightlife in the country. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your accommodation, the remainder of the day at leisure to explore.
You will be transferred to the ferry terminal where you will join the Interislander ferry for your cruise to Picton. From here, travel …. If you’ve chosen the luxury option collect your rental car in Picton and drive to The Sounds Retreat. (2 nights)
A day to relax & marvel at the magic that is the Marlborough Sounds. Resort staff will share their love of the Sounds with you through the range of water and nature based experiences they put at your fingertips. The wide beach access is great for fishing, boating, sailing, swimming & sea-kayaking and there is a wealth of walks and meanderings in the immediate vicinity. A massage or spa treatment at your resort will complete your relaxation.
Return to Picton this morning by water taxi. (Luxury option you will be transferred.) On arrival, collect your rental car and proceed to Nelson at your leisure. The region, which is the sunniest in New Zealand, has for many years attracted residents who love to use their imagination. There are more than 350 working artists and craftspeople living in Nelson, including traditional and contemporary Maori artists. From the northern edge of the Southern Alps across the fertile plains and out to a great sweep of beaches, Nelson is beautifully laid out under a generous sun that delivers New Zealand’s highest sunshine hours.
This morning drive to Marahau to connect with the Aqua taxi transfer to Awaroa Lodge. Located at the quiet northern end of Abel Tasman National Park, it is the perfect vantage point to explore the famous Abel Tasman Coastal Track – the most beautiful of all New Zealand’s ‘Great Walks’. (2 nights)
Today there is time to explore what the Abel Tamsan National Park has to offer. Choose a walk from a few minutes to several hours, on any section of the Abel Tasman Coast Track. Golden sand beaches, native forest, spectacular coastal views and swimming opportunities in calm, azure waters are all highlights of the park. Every journey is unique from paddling the coastline by sea kayak to walking through native forests and across vast coastal inlets to secluded bays of golden sands and turquoise waters.
Return today by water taxi to Marahau and collect your rental car. Continue on to Nelson & enjoy an afternoon relaxing in this charming city, based on a harbour that is home to the country’s busiest fishing port.
Today you travel south through the Nelson Lakes region and navigate the awesome Buller Gorge across to the rugged West Coast. At Hawks Crag the road has been hacked out of solid rock – you’ll drive under a dramatic overhang! Travel along the Tasman Sea coastline to reach Punakaiki – home to the famous Pancake Rocks and Blowholes.
The road to Greymouth is breathtaking. White capped breakers and rugged rocks on one side, bush-clad mountains on the other side. Travel south along the dramatic West Coast, steeped in history dating back to the gold rush era for the 1800’s, and enjoy views of the Southern Alps to the east and the Tasman Sea to the west as you make your way to the Glacier townships of Franz Josef & Fox. (2 nights)
There’s lots to explore in this area – you can take your own time walking up to the glacier, going to the Okarito Lagoon; or join a guided walk on the glacier, take a heli-hike adventure, or a scenic flight over both glaciers. There’s also quad biking through rainforest and riverbeds or even a half hour drive back down to Fox Glacier & Lake Matheson. The Franz Josef Glacier hot pools are open for a hot bathe amongst the rainforest! Let us know if you’d like us to include any of these activities in your itinerary.
Depart Franz Josef and travel down the West Coast, alongside braided riverbeds, native forests and roadside waterfalls before climbing up over the Haast Pass and through Mount Aspiring National Park, with its impressive mountains sculpted by glaciers during the Ice Ages. Then follow the shores of Lakes Hawea and Wanaka to the alpine resort village of Queenstown, regarded as New Zealand’s premier holiday destination. (3 nights)
Enjoy a full day to experience this magnificent resort. Surrounded by majestic mountains, Queenstown boasts adventure activities in all forms, from extreme to relaxed exploration. Here you can take a thrilling jet boat ride, experience the Ultimate bungy jump, pan for gold, raft the white water rapids, take a wine trail, fish for trout, play golf or 4WD sheer canyons.
Queenstown is also a great base from which to explore the Fiordland National Park. Today, leave your car behind & board a luxury glass-roofed coach to the Doubtful Sound. Travel along the shores of Lake Wakatipu and through the rolling countryside to Manapouri. Then cruise across the crystal waters of Lake Manapouri to West Arm before boarding a coach and crossing the alpine route of Wilmot Pass through some of Fiordland and Doubtful Sound’s most dense rainforest. On reaching Deep Cove, board a modern catamaran vessel, the Patea Explorer for a three hour cruise exploring the waterways of this serene and isolated fiord. There is plenty of time available to explore points of interest and view the spectacular alpine scenery including waterfalls, rainforest and mountains all the way out to the Tasman Sea. It is home to bottlenose dolphins and fur seals and when in season, the rare Fiordland crested penguin. An on board nature guide with specialist knowledge of the region’s history, flora and fauna provides detailed interpretation in English with a roving microphone. On the return cruise, the vessel’s engines are turned off and visitors are treated to the ‘sound of silence’.
To experience the best of Doubtful Sound, upgrade to an overnight cruise and instead of returning to Queenstown, stay onboard the Fiordland Navigator. Return to Queenstown by coach the next day. This upgrade package adds an extra day to your itinerary.
Make sure to stop off at the historic & beautiful mining village of Arrowtown today before journeying through the rugged and beautiful landscape of Otago. Cross the Lindis Pass into the Mackenzie Country to arrive at Mt Cook National Park a World Heritage listed site. Mt Cook is Australasia’s highest mountain at 3764 metres. The park covers over 70,000 hectares of breathtaking alpine scenery and is also home to the Tasman Glacier, the longest in the Southern hemisphere (optional Ski-plane & helicopter flights are available subject to weather conditions).
Experience the Tasman Glacier, New Zealand’s largest, in the most unique way possible. This morning, an experienced guide will whisk you away in a stable MAC Boat to explore the melting ice-face of the Tasman Glacier where you will also get to touch & taste 400-year old icebergs that have been carved into the murky waters of the lake. Later visit beautiful Lake Tekapo and stop to view the tiny Church of the Good Shepherd, built of local stone and oak in 1935. Leaving the High Country, cross the vast Canterbury Plains to the ‘Garden City’ of Christchurch.
At leisure today until you return your rental car to the airport in time to connect with your onward flight.
There are 13 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 5 out of 5.
New Zealand has a great deal of things to see and do, why not add one of our optional sightseeing activities to your trip. Prices are per adult (we'll adjust your quote for any children).
Enquire about our 16 Day Te Wai Pounamu
Te Wai Pounamou is the Maori name for New Zealand's South Island. Our unique 16 day self-drive itinerary encircles the entire South Island ensuring yo... Read More
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Upgrade this tour by adding one of our carefully selected optional tours & activities or go ahead and request a quote to guarantee your spot.